Girls basketball team missing out on opportunities

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McKesson Rhodes, driving past an opponent in mid-December, scored 16 points against Buena Vista.

We were rushing things. — McKesson Rhodes

By Daniel Mohrmann

Urgency will come into play for the Manitou Springs girls basketball team. The Mustangs dropped close games over the past several days, falling 42-40 to Lamar on Feb. 3 and then dropping a 44-43 heartbreaker to Buena Vista on Feb. 7.

The loss to the Demons was particularly painful considering the Mustangs (9-10 overall, 6-6 Tri-Peaks) couldn’t get on the scoreboard until about five and half minutes remained in the second quarter.

“The difference between tonight, [when] we got down, and some of our previous games was that they fought back,” coach Juliana Argyle said. “They dug out of a pretty deep hole and stayed confident. They didn’t drop their heads and they came out fighting in the second and third quarters.”

Still, the result was far from what the Mustangs were hoping for as the night began. This is now the second loss in a row and they need to turn around and beat Rye on Saturday, Feb. 11, to avoid dropping three in a row for the second time this season.

But even more importantly, they can’t afford to lose any more games against teams that they feel they’re evenly matched with.

“We can’t drop any more of them,” McKesson Rhodes said. “It’s going to affect our postseason [outlook].”

Rhodes led the scoring effort against Buena Vista with 16 points, while Tori Greene had 10 and Grace Allen added eight.

The Mustangs currently sit at No. 22 in the Class 4A CHSAA selection and seeding index, which will determine the playoff field.

They have four more regular season games and a conservative guess is that the Mustangs need to win two of them to maintain a spot in the 32-team field. The girls played well enough in the final three quarters on Tuesday to give them confidence that they can win those games, but they have to get over a mental barrier if they find themselves on long scoreless runs like they had in the first quarter.

“We were rushing things,” Rhodes said. “We have to push ourselves and work the ball more to get those points on the board early.”

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